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Recruit Yourself - What Questions to Ask?

Recruit Yourself - What Questions to Ask?

What do you prepare before going to an interview?

Most people will answer that by saying they get their CV ready, they practice answering questions about their experience and skills; making friends and family play pretend that they are the tough interviewer probing them about their resume and shooting them down for any incorrect answers.

Have you ever thought that you're only half prepared doing it this way? 
Why, because what happens when they turn the tables and ask have you got any questions for me. This isn't just a common courteous, but people are losing out on a valuable opportunity by either just not asking any questions at all or going for something generic like can I progress in this role when the recruiter has already spent 20 minutes explaining their progression plan and the training that is accessible.

I have performed a number of interviews and the majority of the time I am left flat at this section as interviewees try to compliment you on how detailed your explanation was so they couldn't possibly have any questions. Now although flattering that I have done a job well, it's also lies! How can I possibly have explained the job in so much depth that you have no questions at all, are you going to start on your first day sit down and just know everything you are supposed to do without any coaching. If so then you are more than the perfect candidate for the job, you were literally born for that job but that's not going to happen. You need to ask questions and to make it more difficult, they need to be good; a question that could get you hired.

Should I pre-plan all my interview questions?

Should I pre-plan all my questions for the interviewer?

Yes and No. A diplomatic answer that doesn't seem to answer your question at all but I promise I'll explain. So for the yes, take time thinking of questions you want to ask the employer and write a few notes that will help jog your memory. Usually your opportunity to ask questions will be at the end of the interview so it is easy to forget what you want to ask and this is not an occasion where you want to remember something on the way home.  (Like most thing there is no rerun or second chance)

So why not prepare completely if you can and then read out your comprehensive list of questions? Simply, it's because it will feel too rehearsed and despite your exhausted planning you can't prepare for what the recruiter says. There is nothing worse than repeating a questions or going over ground already covered. I mean it is hard to keep your concentration through some long drawn out interviews but your poker face will be caught out if you are repeating not listening.
So go with the flow of the interview and try and ask questions that enhance the discussion you have been having. Think of it this way, you want it to feel more like a conversation rather than a question. The best interviews are the ones where you do get lost in conversation, the questions are almost forgotten as the recruiter is genuinely more interested in you and your experiences than just completing a tick box exercise and it should be the same for you.

What should I ask at an interview?

So what should I ask?

Doing my blog I have become more aware that people love a template but as I’ve said before I don’t like to give you the answer because then all interviews would just be the same, one generic cut out. But I'm not going to disappoint those clicking on this link looking for this, I am going to give you some suggestions. (I must repeat myself these are suggestions no printing this out and pretending this is all you)

  • What are the company’s goals or values?

You want to see the bigger picture, where is the company going and how will your role impact that journey. Company values are also as critical as it will show what the company sees as significant – is it respect in the workplace, creativity, team work or is it just all about making money. 

  • Why are you currently recruiting for XXX position?

It's good to understand why the company are recruiting for the role whether because of expansion or are they replacing a leaver. Although they obviously won’t say you will get the sense if it’s because the last 25 people in that role walked out and you are just the next in line.

  • I saw from your (website/ social media) that you get involved in a lot of charity and community work or you have several sport teams and social events can you tell me about that? (delete as applicable)

This will give you an insight into their extra circular activities and how they socialise as a team away from the day to day working environment. It also again shows what the company values, do they value charity work and their employees. (Basically you asking do you guys like a night out without be as forth coming or as inappropriate)

  • If offered the position, why should I accept?

This is a very blond statement but if done right can come across as someone who is confident and wants to make sure they are entering into a job that is right for them. (now be honest with yourself if the interview isn’t going well do not go in for this one as it will pretty much end the interview and be extremely awkward)  However, if the interview is going well and you feel the connection then why not, the employer should be selling themselves to you as well. You told them what makes you unique so over to them.

Top Tip, Always make sure the job is right for you

Asking questions is a great chance to make sure you feel comfortable in the role and to find out if you will fit with the business. What is the point of performing well in the interview and waiting who knows how long for feedback and then realising you don’t have a clue whether you should say yes or no. (Head to my Sending a Thank You to get you Hired blog to find out how to deal with that waiting period and whether or not the job is right for you)

If you question right, then you should leave the interview knowing a hundred percentage whether or not you would say yes to the job if offered.

I refer to dating a lot in my blog (not the best person to give advice in that area as I haven’t be on a first day in almost 6 years) but the two are so similar. Put it this way, would you spend an evening answering all your dates’ questions without vetting yourself and then at the end sign your marriage certificate with that person. Of course you wouldn't, so why would you blindly accept an offer, sign a contract without even questioning what you are getting yourself into.

I know we want to get you hired but we want it to be the right match. 

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